Kajal Nisha Patel (b.1979) is an award winning photographer and filmmaker, working between the UK and India. Since 2005, she has documented the British South Asian experience, concentrating on issues around cultural conflict and bereavement, assimilation and the formation of new identities. Areas of research include colonial and postcolonial histories of India, legacies of trade and its consequences upon people, place and memory.

 

Kajal’s interests in migration and human rights have led her to research the marginalised experiences and multiple identities of British South Asian women. This work has facilitated Kajal to start gathering the fragmented pieces of her heritage and reconcile familial (particularly female) experiences of imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy, racism and the indignity of poverty. Through this work, she has been awarded the Leverhulme Artist in Residence at The University of Leicester until December 2016.

 

Kajal is also the founder of Lightseekers social enterprise, which uses photography and storytelling as a platform to learn about and engage with important social issues. It is a cross-cultural education project, which delivers workshops to low-income areas.

 

Grants & Awards

 

Community Engagement Fund, Leicester City Council, Grant, 2016

The Leverhulme Trust, Artist in Residence, Grant, 2016

Big Lottery Fund, Lightseekers – UK, Connecting Cultures, 2014

LLRC, Lightseekers, UKSocial Enterprise Fund, 2013

Magenta Flash Forward, Winner, 2013

Asian Women Photographers Showcase, Finalist, 2013

The Sandergram Project, Artist Rooms, Tate Gallery/New Walk Museum, Winner, 2013

Format Festival, Exposure. Selected Artist, 2013

Heritage Lottery Fund, Trading Spaces, All Our Stories, Grant, 2012

Near Neighbours, Belgrave Factory Workers, Church Urban Fund, 2012

Nesta & New Art Exchange, Culture Cloud, Finalist, 2012

Leicester City Council, Finding My Path, Grant, 2012

Gammelgaard Monochrome, Copenhagen, Lightseekers – India, Grant, 2012

LCB Depot Prize, Open 21, Winner, 2009

Arts Council England, Lightseekers, Grant, 2009

Leicester City Council, Lightseekers, UK, Grant, 2009

Selected Commissions

 

Loughborough University, Department of Politics, History & International Relations

“Four Women. Five Stories”. A film series profiling the 1972 Mansfield Hosiery Mills Asian workers strikes for equal pay. Jun – Dec 2015

 

City Arts, Nottingham

“Portrait”. Documenting industrial decline in the areas surrounding Chesterfield. Feb – Apr 2015

 

The Racial Equality Council

“What Do You See When You Look at Me”. A series of portraits aimed to dispel visual stereotypes. Jun – Jul 2014

 

 

Publications

 

Featured artist – Doh Mix Meh Up – Diaspora and Identity in Art, Eds. Jane Garnett and Sunil Shah, Oxford Diasporas Programme, Oxford University, Leverhulme, Sep 2015.

 

 

Television, Press & Media

 

The Guardian,

The Economist,

The Independent,

British Journal of Photography,

BBC World News,

Buzzfeed,

Outlook India,

BBC East Midlands Today,

BBC Radio Leicester/Notts/London

 

 

Artist Talks/Lectures

 

Attenborough Arts Centre
Leicester

May 2015

 

The Royal Photographic Society

Ravensbourne College, Greenwich

May 2015

 

The Eye Festival

Aberystwyth

Jun 2014

 

Portrait Salon

FUSE Arts Space, Bradford

Oct 2013

 

Gammelgaard Kunst & Kultur Centre

Herlev, Copenhagen

Sep 2011

Selected Exhibitions

 

Flâneur by Paris, A Perspective, Cité International Universitaire de Paris, May 2016

 

The Portrait Salon, Reminders Photography Stronghold, Sumida Tokyo, Japan Feb 2016

 

The Impact of Diasporas, Royal Geographical Society, Leverhulme Funded, Oxford University Sept 2015

 

Changing Britain, The Southbank Centre, London Apr 2015

 

Doh Mix Meh Up, OFS Arts, Oxford University, Nov 2014

 

What Do You See When You Look at Me, Racial Equality Council, The Curve, Leicester Jul 2014

 

100 Images of Migration, School of Museum Studies, Leicester May 2014

 

Flash Forward, Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston, USA, Mar 2014

 

Making Home, Royal Geographical Society, London, Sep 2013

 

Flash Forward, Neubacher Shor Contemporary, Toronto, Oct 2013

 

Fabric, Asian Women Photographers Showcase, Chiang Mai, Thailand, May 2013

 

Factory, Format Festival, Derby, April 2013

 

Photographic Thinking, TEDx AshokaU Exchange, San Diego, Mar 2013

 

Fabric, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, Jun 2013

 

Flight to Greenham, Greenham Common Arts, Newbury, Nov 2012

 

Protection, M.Žilinskas Art Gallery Auditorium, Lithuania, Oct 2012

 

The Golden Mile, The National Museum of Singapore, Sep 2012

 

From Kampala to Leicester, Leicester New Walk Museum, Aug 2012

 

The Golden Mile, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, May 2012

 

Magnum Photos, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, May 2011

 

Satyaprakash, BBC, Leicester, May 2008

 

Satyaprakash, Seva Café, Ahmedabad. India, May 2007

 

 

Collections

 

Leicester New Walk Museum, Private collections; USA, Australia, UK